Thrips on Your Autoflower Plants: How to Get Rid of Them?

Even though you use an autoflowering feminized seeds in planting cannabis, there are still high risks of pest infestation in cannabis plants. Thrips, in particular, is a major problem that some auto-growers have faced in their cultivation process. 

We don’t want anyone to benefit the work that we’ve put a lot of effort into. Saints or charities exists nowhere in the cannabis industry. When weed is at stake, there’s no way that anyone or anything could prevent us from taking it. 

Though at times, we do take the risk for our lives to get a taste of weeds. It’s no joke on how someone will take things just like that. Anyone or anything could not just take anything from cannabis growers without giving a long and drastic fight for it. 

That is why growers take extreme effort on cannabis cultivation. They always ensure that by the end of the process, they’ll be able to reap what should be sown. It’s a waste of effort and time if everything will turn to pieces just because of pest infestation. This could be quite a small problem for a few but had caused a big impact on many agricultural sectors including the cannabis industry. 

In this article, we’ll take on few tips on ways to deal with pest infestation. In particular, we’ll look into thrips for this discussion. If you’re ready to know more about thrips, then just scroll below. 

What are Thrips?

Coming from the order of Thysanoptera, this very small insect species are wasp-like creatures with a slender physique and unique asymmetrical mouthparts. They are weakly flying creatures with unstable wings sufficient for short distance flights. 

Approximately with around 6000 species, these insects are most perceived as pests by farmers and plant growers. They fed dominantly on pollen and chloroplasts, evident on the outer epithelial layer of the plant. They prefer sucking in through buds, flowers, and leaves of a plant. 

Essentially, these parts which are quite useful for a plant during its growth are forsaken upon this insect’s feeding activity. As chloroplasts are important on a plant’s growth, this feeding mechanism affects the plant’s overall health being.

Not just like that, these insects work often in groups or colonies. Unlike any other insects, these creatures thrive longer than you’ve expected them to be. They often live for at least 45 days with fast maturation in around 8 to 15 days. Similarly to any insects, these creatures lay hundreds of eggs upon reproduction. Their eggs quite small about 0.2 mm are often exists in small groups over the surface of the plant. 

The impact of these insects on different agriculture sectors is mostly dealt with by major crops like tomato, cotton, corn, onions, and potatoes. However, an infestation could go as much to other plant types like cannabis. The damage could go millions in the industry if its infestation could be not prevented immediately.  

Aside from that, these insects could carry viruses. They are found to be vectors for as much as 20 different viruses that affect plants heavily. These viruses are among the most deadly pathogens in the botanical world. Among the most common pathogen belongs to this class includes the tomato spotted wilt virus and the tospoviruses that affect flowers. 

The rise of a few species of thrips has been thoroughly studied by agriculturists. It has been noted that F. occidentalis, Thrips simplex, and Thrips palmi are considered to be threatening to some agricultural crops nowadays. 

The Relationship of Thrips to Cannabis Plants

These creatures could be seen into two major forms upon cannabis infestation. It could be in a worm-like form (maggot stage) or it could be a fully-winged adult. But nonetheless, whatever its form, the insect is infesting and still damages your cannabis plant. 

These pests seem to love cannabis a lot. They could be readily seen in the early stages of vegetative to flowering phases of the cannabis plant. They feed on the leaves, buds, and flowers of the plant. They could thrive upon flying from one plant to another. Nevertheless, these insects are quite ruthless to the extent of destroying the entirety of your cannabis plant. 

Specifically, the most damaging thrip species for cannabis plants are called the Frankliniella occidentalis. Their appearance is often yellowish-white, quite small and unnoticed by a lot of cannabis growers. Their presence is indicated by white spots underside the leaves noting on their egg laying activities. 

Deformities or discoloration on bud and leaves could be another sign of their invasion. However, these signs could be done by any other insect as well. The latter is the most prevalent indication that a thrip is involved in the infestation. 

Another insight to remember is that thrips thrive only in low to medium levels of the plant. Its first pest attack won’t be visible on the higher portions of the plant. Though, its quite hard to notice them. They often hid on or camouflaged to leaves.

Thrips often infest in environments with high temperatures. They prefer to attack an enclose and secluded environment than on an open space where there is adequate ventilation or air circulation is flowing. Thus, they prefer on infesting in indoor spaces that outdoors. 

Ways to Eliminate Thrips to Cannabis Plants

If you have already detected and confirmed the existence of these insects in your cannabis plants, then you have to immediately kill these insects before it will take over your whole plant. Nonetheless, here are some things you could do to deal with this. It includes the following;

 

  • Trap thrips through sticky straps. 
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If they truly are infesting your cannabis plants, then they will stick out into these yellow straps. All you have to do is to put them at some parts of the plant and wait until the thrips will adhere and trap into these straps. 

 

  • The Use of Potassium Soap

 

These natural pyrethrins are sold in some drug stores and agricultural shops. These are sold often in liquid form, ready to be sprayed into your thrip-damaged plant areas. There’s no recommended spraying duration or frequency. These are all-natural and in some way, won’t affect your plant. However, for safety precautions, just don’t overspray it. 

 

  • Spraying Neem Oil

 

This is another natural method to knock down thrips. They are considered to be beneficial not just for thrips but to some other pests and other plant’s diseases as well. For any purchase, you could always ask for it in a drug store as needed. 

 

  • Spraying Pyrethrin and Rotenone Insecticides

 

These chemical-based insecticides could be an option on killing these thrips. These are most effective yet quite risky on a cannabis plant.  It could have after-effects, altering the bud or leaf quality of the plant. Aside from that, it could be highly toxic to other beneficial insects for pollination.

How to Prevent Thrip Infestation?

The best way to prevent any pest infestation is through regular monitoring and cleaning. This means that you’ll have to assess day by day and remove any dead matter which could lure around these thrips. 

Aside from that, its helpful to introduce predator species such as Amblysus swirskii that eats thrips. Also, you could put sticky straps all around the place. This could be a good defense and precautionary method to ensure that thrips will not thrive longer in your cannabis plants. 

Planting an autoflowering feminized seed in the soil to grow it ain’t an easy deal. You’ll have to take rough backs and turns before you’ll be able to perfect things out.

However, let no thrips break your hearts out. These creatures seem to be completely impossible to fight into yet it has few weaknesses like the rest of things in this world. You just have to learn, do research, and monitor on things regularly. Happy planting and good luck my friends!

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